Study Guide

The House of Dies Drear The Home

By Virginia Hamilton

The Home

When the word "house" is in the name of the story, it's no surprise home is a theme. Of course, not every house is a home. The house in The House of Dies Drear might be the home of some rowdy ghosts. It's haunted. Or maybe it isn't. You'll have to be the judge. What we know for sure is that this house was a stop on the Underground Railroad, the network of people and shelters that helped runaway slaves escape to freedom in Canada. When the Small family moves into the house, a generations-old family feud is revealed, and even some hundred-year-old secrets.

Questions About The Home

  1. What is Thomas's home life like? Can you compare and contrast it with your own?
  2. What is Mr. Pluto's home life like? How, if at all, does it change by the end of the story? How does it stay the same?
  3. Would you like the live in an underground cabin surrounded by treasure like Mr. Pluto? Why or why not?
  4. Would you like the live in a house like Dies Drear's? Would it bother you that Drear was murder there? Would it make you happy that many people had been lead to freedom through that house?
  5. Why is Mayhew mad at his father? Does this change by the end of the story?
  6. Is Dies Drear's house haunted? Why or why not?

Chew on This

The House of Dies Drear shows that having a happy home is more about who you are with than where you live.

Pesty makes Mr. Pluto's house (cave) a home.

Mac has a difficult home life.

Mac has a happy home life.